Revolutionary Worker #1186, February 9, 2003, posted at http://rwor.org
"The Communist Party of the Philippines, New People's Army and New Democratic Front of the Philippines cannot be intimidated. They dared to fight the Marcos fascist dictatorship and in the process grew in strength even while the U.S. military bases were still in the Philippines and were used for delivering war materiel and training Filipino puppet troops.... I will continue to use the freedom of expression to speak for national liberation and democracy. And it is the word liberation that the U.S. hates most, because it means freedom from its imperialist system of exploitation."José-Maria Sison, about U.S. imperialist threats against him
The reactionary U.S.-backed regime in the Philippines is stepping up their sinister and outrageous attacks on Maoist revolutionary José-Maria Sison. In late January, the Macapagal-Arroyo regime announced that its National Police had filed murder charges against Sison. The Philippine government accuses Sison of direct responsibility in several armed attacks by the revolutionary New People's Army (NPA), including one in 2001 in which a former colonel in the Philippine Constabulary was killed. Pointing to these charges, Philippine officials once again demanded that the government of the Netherlands extradite Sison back to the Philippines.
A spokesman for the Dutch Justice Ministry said the government had not received an extradition request for Sison and noted, "We don't have a treaty with the Philippines, and in the Netherlands an extradition can only proceed on that basis." But the Foreign Secretary for the Philippine government claimed that a Dutch official had expressed support for the request to extradite Sison.
Comrade Sison is the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). For eight years, from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, he was a political prisoner under the fascist Marcos dictatorship, which was backed by the U.S. until it fell in the face of a mass upsurge. Since 1988, Sison has lived as a political refugee in the Netherlands after he was forced to go into exile because of government persecution and threats against his life in the Philippines.
The murder charges against Sison is the latest in a series of attacks on Sison, other revolutionary Filipino exiles, and the Philippine revolutionary movement overall by the U.S. and European imperialists and the Philippine regime. Last August, the U.S. State Department placed the CPP and the NPA on the official U.S. list of "foreign terrorist organizations." The U.S. Treasury Department also listed the CPP, NPA, and Sison among the organizations and individuals targeted for freezing of assets by foreign institutions.
The Dutch government then agreed to U.S. requests to freeze the assets of the CPP and Philippine revolutionary exiles. Dutch officials cut off the small allowance that Sison had received for basic necessities like housing and health insurance.
Another dangerous escalation came last October when the European Union (EU) placed José-Maria Sison on its list of "foreign terrorist persons, groups and entities." The NPA was also placed on the EU "terrorist" list.
In a statement dated January 31, 2003, Prof. Sison said, "What makes Macapagal-Arroyo and her cabinet officials most ridiculous is that they have trumped up murder charges that are so patently false and so clearly politically motivated... The fabrication of murder charges against me once more exposes the regime's malicious practice of filing charges of common crimes, instead of the charge of simple rebellion, against revolutionaries."
The charges that the Philippine regime is now throwing at Sison relate to events that happened long after he had been forced into exile, far away from the Philippines, by Philippine reactionaries. The charges are a blatant attempt by the Macapagal-Arroyo regime to criminalize the people's war in the Philippines--a deep-rooted revolutionary movement that has the support of millions of peasants, workers, students, middle-class people, and others. And the attacks on Comrade Sison are part of the efforts of the U.S. imperialists and their lackeys to use their "war on terrorism" as justification to target revolutionaries and all those who refuse to cave in to them.
The world-class terrorists that run the U.S. have absolutely no right to use the label "terrorist" to attack Comrade Sison and the Philippine revolutionary struggle. George W. Bush was a smirking frat rat, and Colin Powell was part of the bloody U.S. war machine massacring people in Vietnam, when Sison and other young Maoists in the Philippines dared to launch a serious and widely supported armed struggle against a century of U.S. domination. The oppressed people of the Philippines-- like oppressed people everywhere--have a right to make revolution to liberate themselves. The people's war in the Philippines is recognized and supported around the world--and it has nothing to do with "terrorism," a label that the U.S. imperialists toss around to suit their interests and plots.
The deadly attacks on José-Maria Sison are taking place at a time when the U.S. is stepping up military intervention in the Philippines. U.S. officials claim they are after the Abu Sayyaf, a small armed Muslim group in southern Philippines. But the persecution of Comrade Sison is one indication that the real target of U.S. intervention is the people's war led by the CPP. In this context, the U.S. wants to silence a widely known revolutionary who has dedicated his life to opposing imperialism and the semi-feudal and semi-colonial system that keeps the people of the Philippines in chains.
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
Write: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4497